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Direct3D surface help

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Is there a good tutorial on useing surfaces (creating it, drawing onto it and then drawing it onto the screen at a later point(s))? All ive found is refrence stuff which goes on about stuff I know nothing about :( (eg why have a front and back buffer on a surface? Unlike the screen you normally won't be useing it and writeing to it at the same time...)

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What Direct3D version are you using and what sort of goals do you have for the surface?

Do you want to just be able to load an image onto an offscreen surface and blit it onto the frontbuffer? or do you want to manipulate the surface pixel by pixel?

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I'm useing Direct3D 9

I want to create a blank surface thats x by y

I then want to make the "Device->DrawPrimitive" or equvilent function draw onto this blank surface instead of the screen.

I want access to it at a pixel level (eg to find out what the argb value of x,y is)

Then I want a way to draw it onto the screen (hopefully a simeler way to : "Device->SetTexture (0, mytexture); Device->DrawPrimitive (D3DPT_TRIANGLEFAN, 0, 2);")

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